How to prevent water and moisture damage from happening

Most water damage could be avoided with effective preventive measures. Here, we offer some simple tips to help prevent water damage from happening in your home, which will save you both time and money.

Inspect and maintain your home regularly

Regular inspection and maintenance of your residence is always essential to prevent water damage. Regular maintenance and inspection checks should cover the following as a minimum:

  • The roof: This is the most important area. Infiltrations and joints should be tight.
  • Rainwater and drainage systems: Empty the gutters and ensure that water is being diverted next to the building or into separate rainwater systems.
  • The ground next to the building and away from the building. Very often in cases of water damage the ground rises or flower beds are torn off next to the base.
  • Surface structures in bathrooms and silicone joints in corners.
  • The tightness of floor drains as well as their state of cleanliness.
  • The tightness of locks in sinks.
  • The technical lifetime of pipes for domestic water and heating systems: renew them before there are leaks.
  • The condition of the water heater and the pressure relief valve’s discharge pipe and cleaning of the dry well under the boiler.
  • The condition of any outdoor water hydrant: do not leave the pipe attached to the water hydrant over the winter.
  • Lead the condensation from air-source heat pumps to the outdoor unit next to the building.

Leave installation to the professionals

Appliances that use water are among the most common causes of water damage. It's always a good idea to have them installed by a professional to ensure the connections are properly secured. If the installations were done improperly and not installed by a professional, the insurance may not cover the damage caused by the leak.

Keep an eye on devices that use water

It is a good idea to close the taps of washing machines and dishwashers as soon as the washing programme has stopped. Machines should not be left on when you are away from home and you can’t react immediately to any leaks. These tips are sometimes included in the insurance company's protection guidelines. From a damage point of view, it makes an important difference if the leak is detected five minutes or five hours after the damage occurred.

It should be remembered that the refrigerator and freezer can also leak. To prevent leaks, action must be taken to ensure there is sufficient air circulation around the equipment to prevent it from overheating. Dust should also be cleaned regularly from the top of the appliances and the condenser behind them, and the condensation outlet inside the refrigeration appliance should be kept clean.

You should consider upgrading appliances to newer models before they completely stop working. The older the machine, the higher the risk of damage. In addition, new machines are more cost-effective in terms of water and electricity consumption.

Water-damage prevention

In 2020, Polygon acquired Hiotlabs, a company that is a cornerstone of our Water Damage Prevention offering. Their market-leading technology is based on the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning. The solution consists of sensors and a software platform, with the purpose of detecting and preventing water damage in properties. Polygon can now offer added value to customers through a unique end-to-end solution including Hiotlabs technology, which has already been proven in the market, and Polygon’s service expertise. Learn more about this service here

Regularly check pipes and seals

Even professional installation does not guarantee that pipes and joints will last indefinitely. For example, it is recommended that the dishwasher hose be replaced every five years as the chemicals that pass through it weaken the hose. In addition, the pipe is exposed to mechanical stress.

Washing machine seals can be easily tested for leaks by wiping the seals with a piece of kitchen paper after use. If the paper is wet, then the seam should be repaired as soon as possible.

At the same time, it is a good idea to ensure that the pipes are not exposed to additional pressure or stress. The amount of goods in the kitchen sink cabinet is often an unnecessary risk to dishwasher hoses, so it is preferable to keep the cabinet tidy. This also makes it easier to spot any leaks.

Keep yourself updated on the status of pipes

It is advisable to monitor the condition of domestic water and heating pipes at regular intervals. Visually monitor the appearance of the tubes as far as they are visible. Changes in the taste of tap water or water pressure can sometimes indicate plumbing problems. Freezing temperatures in winter are also a high risk for piping, potentially leading to ruptured pipes.

It is wise to take care of the plumbing renovation well in advance - 30 to 40 years is the age at which renovations begin to be necessary for domestic water and heating pipes. Especially if there are even minor leaks in the pipeline, it makes sense to quickly renew it to avoid greater damage. If the piping is more than 40 years old, the technical life is usually over, and the renewal of the piping is imminent. The first pipe leak occurs on average in a 25- to 30-year-old pipe.

When Water Damage Still Happens

If you notice water damage in your home, the first step is to limit the extent of the damage as much as possible. Turn off the appliance that caused the water damage, shut off the water supply, and wipe the water off wet surfaces.


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